The East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre welcomed Professor John Esposito on Saturday 23 June, coinciding with the Mosque’s Open Day.

Professor Esposito is a University Professor & Founding Director at Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and Director of The Bridge Initiative, Georgetown University. He is also the author of many books, including Sharia: What Everyone Needs to Know (published in April 2018); Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring; What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam; and The Future of Islam.

The Professor was shown around the London Muslim Centre by Dilowar H Khan (Director of Finance & Engagement) and Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari (Trustee and former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain). He also visited the ELM Archives where he was shown exhibits by Dr Jamil Sherif (Chair, ELM Archives Steering Group) and Sufia Alam (Maryam Centre Manager). Professor Esposito spoke to a large interfaith group on a peace walk who had been visiting the Mosque as part of the Open Day.

He also spoke at an interactive roundtable chaired by ELM Trust member Dr Abdullah Faliq, attended by a number of distinguished guests including Dr Maria Holt, Reader at Westminster University, and Arifin Hassan from Malaysia.

In a recorded video interview, Professor Esposito said:

“It has been more than ten years since I last visited this mosque. It has changed and expanded significantly, and that is indicative of the hard work and dedication that has gone into maintaining and developing this great place of worship. I am also very encouraged to see the opening of the ELM Archives which is a significant step in preserving Muslim history in Britain. I congratulate all those involved with the Archives and the mosque for taking such a bold step.”